Crisis Intervention - October Health

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Crisis Intervention

Mental health crises can be difficult to spot and even more difficult to respond to. Recognizing the warning signs of a crisis, including suicidal ideation, can help you or a loved one get the professional help needed to overcome these challenges. In this article, we will discuss how to recognize and respond to mental health crises, including the warning signs of suicide. We will also provide resources for immediate assistance and professional help.

Warning Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

Mental health crises may not always be visible to the naked eye, but there are some common warning signs to keep an eye out for. These warning signs may include:

  • Extreme mood swings, such as sudden bursts of anger or crying spells
  • Social withdrawal or isolation from friends and family
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Changes in appetite, sleep patterns or energy levels
  • Agitation, restlessness or feelings of being keyed up or on edge
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol or drugs
  • Thoughts or talk of death, dying or suicide

It is important to note that just because someone exhibits some of these warning signs, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are experiencing a mental health crisis. However, if these signs are persistent or severe, it may be time to seek professional help.

Responding to a Mental Health Crisis

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there are several steps you can take to respond effectively:

Stay Calm and Supportive

Remain calm and offer support. Reassure the individual that they are not alone and that they can get through this. Encourage them to seek professional help and offer to help connect them with resources, such as a mental health hotline, therapist, or crisis center.

Listen Without Judgement

Offer a listening ear and be non-judgmental. Avoid offering unsolicited advice or trying to solve their problems. Instead, show empathy and validate their feelings. Let them know that their feelings are real and that you are there to support them.

Encourage Self-Care

Encourage the individual to prioritize self-care. This may include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring them joy. If the individual is resistant, offer to help them find resources such as mindfulness apps or guided meditations to help them practice self-care.

Know When to Seek Emergency Help

If the individual is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to seek emergency help. Call 911 or your local emergency number or take the individual to the nearest hospital emergency room. If the individual expresses thoughts of suicide or self-harm, take the situation seriously and seek immediate professional help.

Resources for Professional Help

October provides a full Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that supports employees' mental health in the workplace. October offers digital group sessions, assessments, and content about mental health to help employees manage their stress levels and maintain their wellbeing. If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance or professional help outside of the workplace, there are several resources available:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides confidential support and resources for individuals in crisis or those who are concerned about someone else. Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for immediate assistance.

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line provides 24/7 free, confidential crisis support via text message. To start a conversation, text HOME to 741741.

SAMHSA National Helpline

The SAMHSA National Helpline provides free, confidential, 24/7 help for individuals and families facing mental and substance use disorders. Call 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) for assistance.

Local Resources

Many communities have local resources for mental health services, including crisis hotlines, counseling services, and support groups. Contact your local health department or mental health center for information about resources in your area.


Recognizing and responding to mental health crises, including the warning signs of suicide, can be challenging. However, by staying calm and supportive, listening without judgement, encouraging self-care, and knowing when to seek professional help, you can help yourself or a loved one find the resources and support they need. If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance or professional help, don't hesitate to reach out to one of the resources listed above. Remember, help is available, and recovery is possible. Recognizing the warning signs of a...

What to do?

Here is a markdown formatted list of what to do if you are worried about someone's mental health:

  1. Start the conversation: Let the person know that you care about them and have noticed changes in their behavior.

  2. Listen without judgment: Create a safe and supportive environment for the person to share their feelings and experiences.

  3. Encourage professional help: Suggest the person speak with a mental health professional, and offer to help them find resources.

  4. Offer support: Let the person know that you are there for them and offer to help in whatever way you can.

  5. Educate yourself: Learn more about mental health to better understand what the person may be going through.

  6. Take care of yourself: Supporting someone with mental health challenges can be emotionally taxing, so make sure to prioritize your own self-care.

If you feel the person is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to contact emergency services or a crisis hotline.

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Disclaimer: The creation of this content was assisted by an artificial intelligence (AI) technology powered by the October Companion. While every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy and reliability, we cannot guarantee that it’s error-free or suitable for your intended use. The information provided is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. We recommend that you consult with a qualified professional for guidance specific to your individual circumstances. We do not accept any liability for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on the information provided in this content.